TO REINFORCE its international linkage, the University forged a five-year pact with the Portuguese Centre for the Study of Southeast Asia (CEPESA) last Oct. 26 at the Central Library conference hall.

According to Fr. Lucio Gutierrez, O.P., assistant UST Central Library archivist, the agreement re-establishes UST as part of the global academe while enriching Thomasians’ knowledge about the Portuguese heritage in the Philippines.

“The memorandum emphasized the role of UST not only here (in the Philippines) but in the (international) level as well,” Fr. Gutierrez said. “It is the first time for the Philippines to be playing a role with CEPESA, which has been active in China and Indonesia.”

The memorandum of understanding, signed by Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. and CEPESA director Prof. Ivo Carniero de Sousa, states future collaborations of UST and CEPESA in research publications, exchange visits, joint research projects, seminars and conferences.

The agreement also pushes for the creation of a specialized library section in the University focusing on Portuguese culture, literature and history. CEPESA will supply publications, books, and other resources.

The signing of the memorandum culminated “Fernao de Magallanes: The Historical First Voyage of Globalization,” a two-day international seminar which traced how Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage spearheaded globalization by giving Southeast Asia a geographical, economical, and political framework aside from putting the Philippines on the global map. The seminar was hosted by UST during the Portuguese Month organized by the Embassy of Portugal.

“Magellan’s coming paved way for the formation of the Filipino nation, otherwise, we might just be an exterior remote province of Indonesia now,” said economist and historian Dr. Benito Legarda Jr., one of the lecturers in the seminar.

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Other researchers who presented their papers during the seminar included Philippine National Historical Society president and UST Graduate Schopol professor Dr. Bernadita Churchill, UST Archivist Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P., and Prof. Jose Manuel Garcia of CEPESA and the Portuguese National Archives.

Two books, Macau-Philippines Historical Relations International Conference Proceedings University of Macau, February 2004 and Asia and Europe in the History of Globalization were also launched on the first day of the seminar. Lady Camille L. de Guia and Reagan D. Tan

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